Last night I learned about the Jesus Juke. How it had escaped my attention for so long is beyond me. If you’re not familiar with the Jesus Juke, here is a brief description of how Jon Acuff defines the Jesus Juke:
I call it the “Jesus Juke.”
Like a football player juking you at the last second and going a different direction, the Jesus Juke is when someone takes what is clearly a joke filled conversation and completely reverses direction into something serious and holy (Jon Acuff. The Jesus Juke. Posted 11/16/2010 at www.StuffChristiansLike.net).
Jon goes on to describe what results from a Jesus Juke. The Jesus Juke generates shame, awkwardness, and is ultimately unproductive for gospel work.
Jesus Juke Culprit
How did I learn about the Jesus Juke? I became a Jesus Juke culprit, and I got rightly called out. I’m thankful for being called out. I learned something new, and I am better for it. God grew me through the experience, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m still learning social cues. Sometimes I don’t pay close attention to the context. And in this case I got bit. If I had carefully read the Twitter conversation, I would have seen that everyone else took the initial Tweet and ran in a comical direction. I callously brought an air of pretentious hyper-spirituality to the conversation and killed it. What a fail!
Too Serious or Too Awkward
Here’s something else I learned. I am a bit of a Winston. Winston is a character from the New Girl. In season 2, episode 4 entitled “Neighbors” we discover that Winston is not any good at pranks. He does one of two things. He either under-pranks, going too small, or over pranks, going way too big. When Nick decides to prank Schmidt, their roommate Winston suggests putting shavings next to Schmidt’s car, which Nick just calls littering. Then Winston suggests putting acid on his face — way too big!
Well, that’s me, but socially. I am either too serious or too awkward. I struggle with finding that middle ground. That’s good to recognize, because now I know I need to go somewhere from here.
What About the Double Juke
As a Jesus Juke culprit, I also learned something else. I got called out and being called out made me think about the self-defeating nature of calling out jukers. When someone points out that you juked them, they in themselves are a Jesus Juke. The culprit is in turn shamed, feels awkward, and is discouraged.
When I got called out, I at first favorited it. Why? Because I had no idea what a Jesus Juke was, I just took it as a compliment. But then I did my research. I immediately felt contrition. Within the hour I deleted my Tweet and another that followed.
What Should the Juked Do
Here’s a suggestion. One that I’m taking for myself. If you get juked, and inevitably you will, I suggest privately letting the person know that they juked you. Give ‘em a chance to right the Jesus Juke. In social media, one can delete something. In life, one can retract what is said. Help people out, especially those who just don’t know better or are unaware. Give them the benefit of the doubt. I know I will.
I really respect the guy who called me out. I think he’s brilliant, sharp, and godly. I’m super grateful that he called me out. If he hadn’t, I would continue on in my juking ways. So thanks to all those who instruct. Thanks for helping us along our way.
My friend Derek Rishmawy tweeted this the same day I became a Jesus Juke culprit, and I’m glad it is true.
Anybody else grateful that Good Friday covers our Twitter sins as well?
— Derek Rishmawy (@DZRishmawy) April 17, 2014
Yep. I am! Have a Good Friday. I am! I’m grateful for the goodness God extended through the stretched arms of Christ. I’m looking forward to having those arms embrace me one day.